Latest articles

Non-tariff trade barriers remain major obstacle

They’ve become a favourite tool to block trade now that tariffs are out of fashion

While tariffs on agri-food products are declining around the world, non-tariff trade barriers are sprouting up like weeds, the Commons agriculture has been told. “While we are seeing progress in lowering tariffs, non-tariff trade barriers are frequently waiting, or newly created ones are set in place to be the next wave of protectionism that we […] Read more

flag of China

China should be focus of food trade efforts

The Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance says China is our biggest and best bet for future growth

Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay departed on a trade mission to India and Vietnam in late February, just as farm export groups called for more attention on China. The Canadian Agri-Food Trade Alliance says in a new report that China purchased $5.6 billion worth of Canadian farm and food exports in 2016 and has become the […] Read more

Flying bee

Neonic replacement not popular with farmers or beekeepers

They’re too expensive, ineffective and still harmful to bees, to cite just some of the concerns expressed

A proposed replacement for a key neonicotinoid pesticide is proving unpopular with everyone — including farmers and beekeepers. Farmers adopted neonic pesticides because they were safer and didn’t damage the environment as older pesticides did. With one of the three used in Canada being phased out, the search for replacements is on. Mark Brock, chairman […] Read more

U.S. Senate building

U.S. push for NAFTA renegotiation coming but could be a slow starter

The only agriculture issues that are coming up so far are dairy quotas and country-of-origin labelling for meat

Reports emanating from Washington suggest the White House will announce a proposal for renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement in mid-March. Congressional leaders say they will consider it but want to see the reasoning behind the initiative before giving their support. There’s a lot of doubt about whether the administration is actually ready to […] Read more

Farm debt seems manageable, FCC head says

The agency holds close to a third of all farm debt in Canada

National farm debt could reach as high as $100 billion once all the figures for 2016 are in, but Mike Hoffort, CEO of Farm Credit Canada, says farmers are generally in a good financial situation. “Canadian agriculture is strong and stable,” he told the annual meeting of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture. However, farmers need […] Read more

A wave of optimism in advance of seaway opening

The Great Lakes shipping pipeline will be opening for the season later this month

Optimism abounds for the 2017 navigation seasons on the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway. The seaway will open March 20 followed five days later by the American Soo locks between Lakes Superior and Huron and the 2017 navigation season on the Great Lakes will be fully underway. While the seaway finished down by 3.1 […] Read more

Government grilled on Agriculture Day

Most of the responses included little new information offered up in the heat of the debate

Opposition senators and MPs celebrated Canada’s Agriculture Day Feb. 16 by grilling the government on farm policy but reaped little for their efforts. However, Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay rebounded Conservative Farm Critic David Anderson’s call for a return to farmers of a $100-million surplus the Canadian Grain Commission racked up in recent years. It was […] Read more

Urbanization, not foreign ownership, the real threat to farmland

Three per cent of Canada’s arable land was lost to sprawl between 2001 and 2011, investor says

The real threat to farmland is our growing cities, not the tiny amount foreign owners hold. The president and CEO of Bonnefield Financial, Tom Eisenhauer, recently told the Senate agriculture committee that people looking to protect farmland need to look at the real issues. “The biggest threats are urbanization, rezoning and the conversion of farmland […] Read more

Cutaway of Plant and Roots in Dirt

Scientists studying how to make poorer soils perform better

The work is in response to a growing problem of the loss of prime farmland to urbanization

As Canada steadily loses top-quality farmland to urban sprawl, Agriculture Canada scientists are studying ways to make poorer soils perform better in co-operation with foreign researchers. Brian Gray, assistant deputy minister for science and technology, told the Senate agriculture committee the work will help feed an expected global population of 9.5 billion in 2050. “We’re […] Read more

Compensate farmers for environmental good: Ducks Unlimited

The conservation group has told the Senate agriculture committee protecting wetlands requires funding

The next Agriculture Policy Framework needs to compensate farmers and landowners who embrace environmentally sustainable land management, Ducks Unlimited Canada has told the Senate agriculture committee. Otherwise the alarming loss of wetlands and other critical wildlife habitat will continue its upward spiral, Scott Stephens, DUC’s director of regional operations for the Prairie region told the […] Read more